"Environmental champions" Richard and Dianne Kidd are the nation’s best farmers.
The Helensville couple were announced the winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards at the 2016 National Sustainability Showcase. The event was held on the evening of 22 June 2016 in Waitangi, Northland.
Earlier this year, at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony, the couple was also presented with the inaugural Auckland Balance Award, as well as the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with QEII National Trust and New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.
Following their win in March, BFEA judges described Whenuanui Farm, the Kidd family’s 376ha sheep, beef and forestry unit, as “a show piece farm”, and said the Kidds are “great role models for drystock farming, achieving impressive stock and financial performance while working hand in hand with the environment”.
All waterways on the farm have been fenced, and large areas of raupo act as sediment traps to capture nutrients. Shade, shelter and reticulated water are readily available to livestock in every paddock.
Barry Potter, Director of Infrastructure and Environmental Services, says the achievement is good news for Auckland.
"As well as our vibrant metropolitan lifestyle, Auckland is made up of 70 per cent rural land, much of it farmland, which contributes $2.3 billion to the country’s GDP, annually. Seeing hard-working Auckland farmers recognised on the national stage is fantastic."
Franklin ward councillor Bill Cashmore says Auckland farmers are facing environmental challenges and adapting.
“Seeing the Kidds taking out the national title, not long after receiving the Auckland Ballance Award, is a proud moment for the rural community. As previously stated, we continue to support rural residents to make improvements in the sustainability and long term viability of all forms of agriculture in the region.”
Read more about the Kidd farm and Auckland Council work here.